When the company that sells roughly 25 percent of all groceries in this country makes a commitment to better farm animal welfare, it is a groundbreaking moment, and it sends ripples through the entire agriculture industry. That’s why it’s exciting that Wal-Mart has announced a broad new policy around the treatment of farm animals in their supply chain.
Integrating a commitment to the common-sense Five Freedoms, Wal-Mart calls for its suppliers to “find and implement solutions to address animal welfare concerns” around three specific issues: 1) the use of cages and crates that currently confine egg-laying hens, mother sows and calves; 2) painful and often unnecessary mutilations like tail docking, dehorning and castration; and 3) the slaughter of animals before they have been rendered unconscious.
This is a significant step by one of the most influential entities in the food industry, and should send a strong signal to companies that for both ethical or business reasons, ignoring farm animal suffering is no longer an option. In fact, Wal-Mart said its own research showed 77 percent of its shoppers would increase their trust in a retailer that improves the treatment of livestock. We commend Wal-Mart for taking steps to meet the public’s expectation that farm animals live decent lives. There is no more room on the supermarket shelf for farm animal suffering.
As the move to a more humane marketplace continues to gain momentum, we look forward to similar commitments from companies addressing the welfare of broiler chickens, who comprise 90 percent of the animals raised for food in this country.
As the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day is a great excuse to get outdoors. But whether you’re partying, barbequing, or just soaking up some rays, it’s important to keep your pet’s safety in mind at all times. To prevent any Memorial Day mishaps, we’ve put together some tips to help protect animals during the “Dog Days” of the season.
Barbequing is one of the best parts of Memorial Day, but remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from animals, and remind guests not to give them any table scraps or snacks. Raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, and avocado are all common at barbeques—and they’re all especially toxic to animals.
Be Cool Near the Pool
Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake—not all dogs are expert swimmers! Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Also, try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains potentially dangerous chemicals like chlorine.
Skip the Spray
Unless specifically designed for animals, insect repellant and sunscreen can be toxic to pets. Signs of repellent toxicity include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. DEET, a common insecticide in products for humans, may cause neurological issues in dogs.
Made in the Shade
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so if you’re spending time outside, give them plenty of fresh, clean water and make sure they have a shady place to get out of the sun. Note that animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Time spent outdoors comes with the added risk of pets escaping. Make sure that your pet is fitted with a microchip or ID tag with identifying information, or both. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Opt for a Humane Holiday
Everyone loves a Memorial Day barbecue, but for those who eat meat, eggs or dairy, avoiding the worst factory-farmed products can be tricky. For help making the most compassionate choices this holiday (and all year long!), be sure to reference our humane picnic tips.
Each year approximately 150,000 American horses are trucked to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered for human consumption. Horse slaughter is a cruel, unnecessary, predatory industry that has no domestic market. Even though 80 percent of voters oppose horse slaughter, many people don’t know that American horses are still going to slaughter every single day.
Want to learn more? Join us for an #ASPCAchat on horse slaughter on May 27 from 1:00 to 2:00 P.M. ET. The chat will take place simultaneously on both Twitter and Facebook, and two ASPCA experts will be available to answer all of your questions. Tune in and find out where horse slaughter takes place, why it must be stopped and how you can make a difference for our nation’s horses.
Our #ASPCAchat will feature:
Carolyn Schnurr, ASPCA Senior Manager, Federal Legislation Nancy Perry, ASPCA Senior Vice President, Government Relations
Shari is a social and friendly cat who loves playtime—it’s no wonder she’s a staff favorite! This long-haired beauty would be thrilled to go home with an adopter who will keep her looking and feeling her best with plenty of grooming and daily playtime with her favorite mouse toy.
Shari likes attention, but at times she can be sensitive about being picked up. This pretty lady prefers to have all four paws on the ground. Sometimes when she’s in a playful mood, Shari may grab on to your hands or nip your fingers, but our Adoptions team can help you correct this behavior. Shari would do best with an experienced adopter who is good at reading cat body language, and she prefers to be the only pet in an adults-only home. Visit our Adoption Center to meet Shari today!
Shariis available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting Shari, please call our Adoptions Department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120. To learn more about Shari, please visit her profile page.
Watch Shari in action at the ASPCA Adoption Center by checking out the video below.
Advocates from across California met at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday to rally for stronger animal-welfare laws at the ASPCA’s second annual Paws for Celebration event—and got to meet some very cute, adoptable pets while they were at it!
Paws for Celebration brings the great work that shelters and rescues do for their communities to the lawn of the Capitol and shows policymakers how critical sheltering services are in California. The event featured an adoption fair with cats and dogs from nearly 20 local California shelters and rescue organizations. Palomacy Dove Rescue was also on-site with rescued birds, and even a rabbit named Donkey made an appearance.
When event-goers weren’t busy cuddling adoptable pets, they got down to serious legislative business at meetings with Legislators and their staff to urge the passage of strong animal-protection legislation, including Assembly Bills 316 and 317. If passed, these two important ASPCA-sponsored bills would enhance California law enforcement’s ability to investigate animal cruelty cases and increase emergency responders’ capacity to care for animals during natural disasters.
Attendees were even treated to a visit by ASPCA Celebrity Ambassador Katherine Schwarzenegger to show her support for the work local shelters do and to advocate for the passage of A.B. 316 and A.B. 317.
“As a lifelong Californian and parent to my own rescue dog, I am so grateful to the shelters and rescues that care for thousands of homeless animals across our state every day,” Schwarzenegger said. “We owe it to these organizations to ensure they have all the resources they need to continue providing these much-needed services.”
With nearly 100 attendees, Paws for Celebration quadrupled in size since last year’s event, sending a strong message to legislators that animal welfare is becoming increasingly important to Californians—and lawmakers agreed that stronger legislation is necessary.
“The ASPCA provides critical services to these animals in California and across the nation,” said Assembly Member Brian Maienschein of Poway, who was present at the event. “I am proud to be the sponsor of two bills this session which will ensure that the ASPCA and other organizations can aid California’s pets in the event of a large-scale cruelty case or disaster situation.”
Also in attendance were Assembly Members Matt Dababneh, Marc Steinorth, William Brough, David Hadley, Patrick O'Donnell and Matthew Harper, all of whom are working on important animal welfare legislation this session that ranges from helping dogs and cats used in tax-payer funded research to strengthening penalties for acts of cruelty towards animals in sanctuaries and shelters to providing tax incentives for animal adoptions.
We want to thank the advocates who were able to join us for this exciting event and all of our supporters in California and across the nation for continuing to stand by our side as we fight to protect animals.
Don’t miss your state’s next lobby day or adoption event! Sign up to receive ASPCA Advocacy Alerts to stay up-to-date on fun and informative events near you.